Dr. Tommy Wood: The Beauty Of Not Always Optimizing And The Power Of The “Enjoy Life” Mindset


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Dr. Tommy Wood is back for another great show, this time to discuss a pretty radical idea—the idea that second guessing this constant quest for optimization in the area of health and fitness might actually be a good thing.

We talk about how our mindset and attitude come into play regarding our health and he explains why he is so concerned about what he sees as the “pathologization and objectification” of things that specifically should bring us joy (mainly food and sleep) and why so many people tend to fall into over-obsession and perfectionism when it comes to certain vital health practices. Dr. Tommy proposes we steer away from overcomplicating and overthinking things when it comes to our health and fitness, which delves into another conversation about toeing the line between taking care of your health and caring too much. Where and how do you find that healthy balance? We also talk about the power of the placebo effect, sleep, fitness and figuring out how hard to push your body, and much more! If you want to hear some great health and longevity advice through a big-picture (and extremely practical lens), then this is the episode for you!


Guest Tommy Wood talks about the pathologizing of health practices. [01:22]

There is a coherence between who you believe yourself to be and your actions. [05:36]

Many people disregard the importance of sleep, but if you begin to focus, counting the hours, you start to lose the joy of sleep. [12:51]

Sleep debt is when you establish your optimal hours of average sleep, then if you have a particular episode of shorter time of sleep, staying up late, you have sleep debt that needs to be made up. [21:01]

The genetics come into play for sleep requirements. [24:30]

Is there a strong correlation there from energy output to increased need for sleep? Rapid loss of body temperature is one of the triggers for sleep. [27:15]

The volume of training that the average person needs is much smaller than professional athletes need. Consistency is important. [29:00]

If you think others are doing more than you, if you think you should be doing more, it has a negative impact on your health and actually increases your risk more. [32:41]

Glucose monitoring has created the pathologization of food. [36:30]

We can create psychological effect that affects the way we respond. A placebo is a placebo. [39:33]

There has been much more information, studies, and experimentation on athletic performance that changes how we think about health and fitness. [44:17]

How do we tiptoe over that red line of optimal training so that we are not hindering our health and fitness? [46:46]

When we talk about cardiovascular fitness, muscle mass, and longevity, we are talking about data from truly average general population people. We don’t know who is going to live longer. [52:08]

We hear many rationalizations and cop-outs in everyday life. Many people are delusional about their actual health. Understand that commitment is important. Motivation fluctuates. [01:00:12]

Genetics plays a big role in longevity. Get regular blood testing. There are some medications available for aging, however, there is no evidence how beneficial. [01:05:54]


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